HELENA – Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will start construction soon which aims to reduce traffic on one of the busiest intersections in Helena Valley.
Six miles north of Helena, Lincoln Road will benefit from two roundabouts and ramp improvements, which Camaree Uljua, project manager at MDT Engineering, says will allow for more efficient travel.
“The primary goal of the Lincoln Road, Montana to I-15 project is to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow and safety along Lincoln Road and Highway 15,” Uljua said.
The plan includes converting the 4-lane stop at Montana Avenue and Lincoln Road to a single-lane roundabout as well as a right-hand bypass for westbound traffic to exit Lincoln Road onto Montana Avenue.
They are also planning a single-lane roundabout on the I-15 northbound off-ramp with a westbound bypass on the right.
Additional improvements to the southbound on-ramp include an additional lane and a westbound left-turn lane, Uljua says area drivers should remain patient as work begins in April.
“There are going to be delays that we cannot 100% mitigate, but we are asking people to slow down, be aware of the work area, watch for workers in the work area and other vehicles in the Work zone. Be patient with us as they will see that the improvements put in place will be a huge improvement for the region,” Uljua said.
Construction on Lincoln Road between Montana Ave and I-15 is scheduled to begin in early April and be completed in the fall.
A local business is concerned that during the busiest times of the year the building project could cause problems, but once completed, Lari Sussex, manager of the Grubstake, says it will benefit the community.
“While they are doing the construction phase it will impact us negatively of course, but I think once it is done it will be better for the valley to have easier and much smoother access because it takes time to get out of here without this roundabout so I think it will be good in the long run but at first it will be negative,” Sussex said.
According to Sussex, despite the hassle of waiting for construction, the business will continue to be a favorite in Helena Valley.
“We’re very confident that people will come back and we’re confident we have a lot of local regulars that we really like and appreciate, and we’re really confident that they’ll keep coming even if they might have to wait a bit “Sussex said. .
Montana Department of Transportation will hold a virtual open house Thursday, March 31.